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Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and the Law Offices of David Randolph Smith Announce Class Action Certified in Tri-State Crematory Suits.

Business Editors/Legal Writers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2002

Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and the Law Offices of David Randolph Smith announce that Hamilton County, Tennessee Circuit Court Judge Neil Thomas granted certification of a class of persons seeking recovery against Tri-State Crematory, its owners and five funeral homes that delivered hundreds of bodies to Tri-State for cremation.

"This is an important day in our quest to give every family impacted by this tragedy a voice," commented plaintiffs' attorney David Randolph Smith. Kathryn Barnett, an attorney with Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, a firm representing families in other related suits that joined in the motion remarked, "Through the force of so many families united in class actions, we hope to show this industry that it must accept responsibility to do its job, so that no one will ever again have to suffer as these families have."

The class certified by Judge Thomas includes the families of loved-ones delivered for cremation to Tri-State by Wann Funeral Home, Taylor Funeral Homes, Turner Funeral Homes, Buckner-Rush Funeral Homes and Franklin-Strickland Funeral Homes from March 31, 1997, to February 11, 2002. Judge Thomas preliminarily limited the class members to families of loved ones sent on or after March 31, 1997, but did so only until more reliable proof is submitted. The class members are not limited to families who have had the remains of their loved one positively identified as among the remains recovered on the property by the Georgia authorities. Instead, the class potentially includes the families of all decedents shipped by these funeral homes to Tri-State from March 1997 on. Counsel who joined in this class certification effort with Mr. Smith and Lieff Cabraser included Phil Fleissner and Bill Colvin of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Robert Smalley of Dalton, Ga.

Class certification motions in related cases remain pending before United State District Court Judge Harold Murphy State and Circuit Courts of County, Georgia.

About Law Offices Of David Randolph Smith

David Randolph Smith is certified as a Civil Litigation Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. Mr. Smith is also certified as a Medical Malpractice Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. The firm conducts trials in all courts and focuses upon personal injury, products liability and medical malpractice litigation. The firm strives to maintain a small caseload with a commitment to vigorous prosecution of well-researched cases. The firm successfully handled the landmark Tennessee Supreme Court appeal, Jordan v. Baptist Three Rivers Hospital, 984 S.W.2d 593 (Tenn. 1998) which changed 100 years of Tennessee wrongful death law by recognizing the right to recover damages for the loss of the deceased's love, affection, companionship and consortium. The firm is presently counsel for the plaintiff in an important medical malpractice informed consent case before the Tennessee Supreme Court -- Ashe v. Radiation Oncology Associates, 1998 WL 430632, 23 TAM 32-5 (July 31, 1998), appeal granted, December 7, 1998) that involves the issue of causation in informed consent cases. Cases handled by the firm have been reported on ABC television, 20/20 ("Death Seeps In", a fatal case of carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel) and NBC Nightly News (mercury poisoning).

About Lieff Cabraser

Lieff, Cabraser is a national plaintiffs' class action law firm with offices in Nashville, Tenn., as well as New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. In cases dating back to 1984, Lieff, Cabraser has represented and obtained relief for the bereaved families of victims of illegal and disrespectful cremations and the desecration of human remains by crematories and funeral homes. These lawsuits have included: In re Sconce/Lamb Cremation Cases, in which the California Supreme Court upheld the right of close family members of decedents to assert emotional distress and related tort and contract claims for decedents whose remains were allegedly subjected to illegal and/or disrespectful multiple cremations and commingling; and In re Neptune Society Cases, a class action involving claims for emotional distress, personal injury, breach of contract, and consumer fraud claims arising from concealed illegal dumping of commingled human remains by the pilot who had been hired to scatter ashes separately over the Sierra Mountains. To learn more about the firm, please visit us on the Internet at http://www.lieffcabraser.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U6TN
Date:Nov 4, 2002
Words:731
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